Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have teamed up in Europe to send Apple a message: no one can own the term “App Store,” and they’re willing to join forces to prove it in court.
The group have filed a complaint in which they claim Apple’s trademarks are invalid. A spokesperson from Microsoft said in a statement:
Today’s filings by HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Microsoft, like Amazon’s recent action, demonstrate the breadth of opposition to Apple’s unsupportable claim of exclusivity. App store,’ like ‘toy store’ or ‘book store,’ is a generic term that should continue to be available for everyone to use for stores that sell apps.
The overwhelming success of the App Store since Apple launched the service for iOS devices has, naturally, inspired other companies to follow suit and offer a similar service for their own users.
Amazon recently launched a service of its own named ‘Amazon Appstore for Android’, which resulted in a lawsuit from Apple. In its defence, Amazon argued that Steve Jobs himself used the words ‘app store’ to describe similar services from Apple’s rivals.
John Paczkowski at All Things Digital notes that the phrase ‘App Store’ “didn’t enter the vernacular until 2008, right around the time Apple began popularizing it.” However, I think Microsoft and its chums have a good argument.
While I’ll admit that it’s rare for me to disagree with Apple and Steve Jobs, I have to agree that ‘App Store’ should be a generic term, and that there should be no reason why the term shouldn’t be used to describe any store that sells apps.